You are walking on a sandy beach. A stranger wearing a white robe approaches you from the opposite direction. As you get closer you can see that he is smiling at you. You nod back at him. A feeling of being at ease flows through your body. As you pass by, for some unexplainable reason, you change your direction and begin walking with him. After some quiet time, and initial conversation you speak directly to him from your heart, not really knowing why…

You: I am so sorry…
Him: I know you are.
You: But, you don’t understand, I have done so many wrong things…
Him: He interrupts and simply says I forgave you when I was on the cross.
You: I try to do the right thing, but it always seems to end up poorly.
Him: The important thing is that you keep trying, that you recognize in your heart what your relationship is with me. Your value is not based on one action, or one period of your life. It is the overall effort of your life that is important to me.
You: How do I change? How do I grow?
Him: Each person has to find what is right for him. But you always start with me. Your relationship to me is so very important. Because of this importance, you must find out where you stand, how you feel towards me.
You: How do I do this?
Him: Talk with me, as you are doing now. Tell me about your fears, your worries, and your concerns. Look inside your intentions and know where you are going. Why you do things, lets you know what is important to you. As you grow with me, if you grow with me, you will do less for yourself and more for others.
You: For others? Why others?
Him: How can you love me if you don’t love others? Each person that you encounter during your life needs something that you possess. It may be a smile, a giving of your time, some advice, understanding the person, or not understanding the person and still loving… all of these are qualities that may be asked of you. …that I ask of you.
You: I know me, and I know I can’t do things like that with everyone.
Him: This is how you grow. Begin to look inside yourself and understand what your real intentions are. When you talk with me, tell me what you are feeling inside. Try to identify those intentions, those feelings that would embarrass you, if known by others. That is where you start. Take that negative and see what you can do to make it into something positive in your life. When you talk to me tell me how you will try to change that aspect of your life. I will help you when you need it to accomplish these things. If you start like this and continue to try to change your life then you will gradually change your life’s direction. Remember what I said earlier, the overall effort of your life is what is important to me. I have said a lot for you to consider. Think about it.
You: And I said…